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Getting Millennials Involved In Politics

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politics
Since our most recent Presidential election, it has been more important than ever for millennials to use their voice in politics. Millennials make up a large portion of the population, and by getting involved, it can create an impact on society. Since The Great Recession, this generation has experienced unique struggles and are rightfully angry. Unemployment was at an all time high and wages fell once it was all over. Millennials are the most educated generation in American history, both in degrees and college graduates. However, what was once a job promised after graduation is no more. Millennials feel the need for a moral rebirth and are getting involved in issues now more than ever.
We got in touch with Bryan Leib, an activist trying to get more millennials involved in politics. Bryan works with nonprofits in Philly and Camden as a mentor for the youth. We asked him about the importance of politics for millennials and ways to get involved. 

Why is it important for millennials to be involved in politics?

It’s mission critical for millennials to be actively involved and engaged in politics in order to influence public policy and to improve our communities. Local politics that is. I'm a big believer that the best position to influence change is at the local level. I know Presidential politics excites a lot of millennials but honestly, that isn't where we can make an impact.

What is the reason most millennials are not involved in politics?

I think it's because of voter apathy and an overall frustration for the political process. I find that most millennials are frustrated with the status quo, career politicians and they don’t think their vote can make a difference. Over the last two years in Philadelphia, we have witnessed a United States Congressman, PA Attorney General, PA State Treasurer, State/City Judges and PA State Representatives convicted of corruption/bribery/racketeering charges. The Philadelphia District Attorney was indicted on +20 federal counts of bribery and fraud. A lot of us are numb to the entire political process because of those reasons and because of the current power structure and lack of accountability. How does a millennial get excited about politics with career politicians like Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D) and Senator John McCain (R) at the top of the power structure in their respective parties.  Both in their 70's and have held office for over 30 years. Average age of Member of the U.S. House of Representatives is 57 years and the U.S. Senate is 61 years. https://www.senate.gov/CRSpubs/c527ba93-dd4a-4ad6-b79d-b1c9865ca076.pdf

What are ways to get millennials involved in politics?

Well, I’ve always suggested that if one wants to get involved with politics that they should volunteer for a campaign or intern in the office of an elected official. Volunteering for a campaign is a sure fire way to get your feet wet and make a substantial amount of political and community connections. Being involved with a campaign from the ground floor through election day is a pretty good primer for anyone who wants to aspire to run for public office office. Another way to get involved is to start attending local civic and neighborhood association monthly meetings. They are typically open to the public, free and donuts are involved.

How did you get involved in politics?

I've always been involved with civic organizations and nonprofits in Philadelphia and Camden. Public service is in my DNA. I personally believe that politics should be 100% public service. Elected officials should show up to work every day with only one agenda item - how do they improve the community and serve the public at large.  My foray into politics was volunteering in the 2015 Mayoral Race in Philadelphia. I started as a part-time finance intern and within a couple months of proving myself to the candidate and campaign staffers, I was attached to the hip with my Mayoral Candidate as his traveling aide. We went all over the city to build new relationships and talk to community members about the issues that were important to them and their families. Shout out to State Senator Tony Williams - he showed me the ropes, put me on the map and is an amazing public servant. For that, I am eternally grateful.

What would the impact be if more millennials became involved?

Game-changer of epic proportions! We have the opportunity to re-write the entire political landscape as we know it today by 1) Voting and organizing in local elections 2) Supporting our fellow millennials in running for public office. Philadelphia millennials are the largest registered voting bloc in the city with +300,000 registered voters. However, in the 2015 Primary for offices like Mayor and City Council - only 12% of registered millennials went to the polls. I attribute his to voter apathy. To put this in perspective, there are 230,356 registered voters between the ages 35-65 who voted in the 2015 Primary. If millennials increased to a 50% voter turnout in Philadelphia then would make up +40% of the total voting electorate. With percentages like that, we can start changing the political landscape as we know it today. The power to change our future lies in our hands.

Is it difficult to stay up to date with politics?

I don't think so. In today’s age of social media, it’s not very difficult to stay up to date on what’s happening in politics. New media organizations like Billy Penn have launched throughout the country focused on keeping our generation informed and engaged. In addition, elected officials are more accessible than ever and if you really want to have a conversation with your elected official, they are probably only a tweet or email away.

What advice would you give to anyone interested in politics?

Start locally by 1) Getting involved in a local campaign or with your local civic association 2) Don't be afraid to run for public office and fight for your community. We can change the political landscape by 2020 by being involved in local politics - I guarantee it! We can make an immediate impact by voting and running for public office at all levels - Congress, Mayor, State House, City Council and City Commissioners. Sky is the limit.

Jie writes about influencers and startups in various industries. She is a designer turned techie, and when she is not writing, you can find her in her workshop working on her next big project.

Business

How To Successful Deal With Stress Like A CEO

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White man with plaid shirt sitting stressed out by ocean
You've encountered stress countless times. And everyone has their own way of dealing with stress. Whether it's taking a quick walk, drinking some water, or reading, knowing how to deal with stress effectively is essential to both your personal and professional life. Stress is a natural part of existence and knowing how to deal with it effectively will be the difference between success and failure. Here are some effective stress management techniques used by some of the most successful people in the world.

Taking A Walk

Man walking in a fieldDespite its simplicity, taking a walk does several things for you. First, it removes you from the environment or situation that's causing the stress. And by removing you and taking you as far away as possible from the source of stress, you're much more likely to be able to think more clearly. Taking a walk also has the added benefit of promoting more blood flow to your brain. Your legs are powerful pumps that help circulate more blood throughout your body. And taking a stroll outside also gives you a nice breath of fresh air. All these factors combine to give you an edge in thinking more clearly and then deciding what to do with the situation.

Take A Nap

Beautiful white woman sleeping on bedOr get a good night sleep. Your ability to think clearly can be inhibited if you're not well rested. Taking a quick nap or attempting to get a good night sleep will help reduce tension and allow you to wake up with renewed energy to tackle the problem at hand. Taking a nap or getting some sleep is also effective at removing you emotionally from the problem. Constantly dwelling on the source of stress might not yield any immediate answers. However, waking up from a good nap may give you some newfound perspectives on the situation.

Writing Things Down

Person writing using pen and paperSometimes the thoughts in our head aren't as clear as we'd like them to be. Sitting down and writing down what's stressing us out and clearly detailing the event/incident can often give us insights into the situation. Writing things down also helps to calm us down if the stress is high and caused anxiety. The simple act of writing and keeping the notes also helps us recall past events that are similar to this one. And you can look back at some previous notes you've written to see if there are similarities and draw conclusions.

Do Something Nice For Someone

Asian woman holding up red heart cutoutAs odd as it sounds, the more we think to ourselves and about ourselves the more likely we are to obsess over our own stress. Sometimes we forget that we're all in this together and that everyone also goes through stress - just like us. By doing something nice for someone else, it removes us from our current self and allows us to empathize and think about another human being. It's a simple act of kindness that helps someone else and at the same time, buys us a bit of good karma. Helping another individual also helps release dopamine, a chemical that helps us feel good about yourself. And sometimes we just need a bit of boost to give us the confidence to go back and face the situation at hand.

Ask For Advice From A Colleague

Man and Woman sitting outside talkingTalking to someone can certainly help. But you don't want to come off as venting or complaining about your life. It's better to consider carefully who you're going to reach out to and frame the conversation as getting advice on a situation, rather than needing to vent. Because when you're venting or releasing steam, the other party is less likely to add value to the conversation, since you're not looking for anything other than someone to vent to. When reframed as getting advice, you're giving someone the permission and space to review your situation, ask productive questions, pick at the problem, and hopefully help you see the problem from a new perspective that you didn't see before.
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5 Things You Need To Know About Millennials

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Millennials (aka: Generation Y) are an interesting breed.  We've experienced quite a drastic change within our lifetime and the way we communicate with one another is very different than the generation before us.  Unfortunately we're not that easily understood and people tend to categorize us without knowing all the facts.  Below are 7 things you MUST know about millennials before you begin to make judgement.

It's harder for us to get a job

Contrary to what others may think, our generation aren't fortunate enough to get a job with just our high school degree.  For most of us, a Bachelors is barely enough to get accepted.  Our parents and grandparents had it much easier than we did in this department.  Demands for our education is increasing, our cost of living is higher, our student loans are piling higher than we'd like...and job opportunities are scarcer than before.

We're not buying Houses

We're considering many other alternatives as most of us still prefer to be in the cities where our job opportunities are highest.  And unfortunately that also comes with a very high rent, so we prefer to room with others to save on living expenses.  And we're also marrying much later as well, so the need to have our own american dream house doesn't need to be realize so early.

We're not driving anymore

Again...back to the whole idea of cost of living rising.  It cost on average anywhere from $500-$800 a month to own a car in most cities, and that's not even including the cost of parking and tickets you're likely to rack up.  With Uber and Lyft in most major cities nowadays, we're looking at other alternatives to driving.

Not all of us are Entrepreneurs

Yes...it's true.  With the boom of entrepreneurs in the recent years, it's easy to assume that most millennials are following similar footsteps as Zuckerberg and Jobs.  The truth is, although the idea of running your own startup is very appealing, most of us are actually straight up trying to create a profitable company.  We're still for the same dream, except without the early-stage hustling and grinding.

We want to work for a cause

The work we do does define us, and as Millennials we're NOT okay with settling for a meaningless job that simply pays the bill.  The job doesn't have to be high paying, as long as the work we do is meaningful and we are apart of something that's making waves. 
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How to Ask For a Favor

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how to ask for a favor
Do you know how to ask for a favor? Asking for a favor might be hard especially if you’re the independent type. Like it or not, we need to ask favors now and then if we want to succeed. Favors have varying degrees from the very easy: "please come to the conference call tomorrow" to the onerous "please introduce me to your contact at Apple". Lucky for you, people like doing favors. Studies show that people comply with requests to avoid awkwardness and it also suggests that favors are less of a burden than we think.But regardless of studies, asking for favors can still feel strange. Therefore being deliberate in the way you ask a favor can make a big difference in the outcome. When asking for a favor, remember the following:
  • Set the stage: "I need to ask a favor"
  • Provide reason
  • Provide means of escape
The phrase, "I need to ask a favor" is a very powerful verbal contract. It also implies reciprocity. If you help me now, you can ask a favor from me in the future. This two way relationship of give and take acknowledges that the favor is not totally one-sided. But aside from this, it also makes the other switch gears into receiving mode. This will give your friend time to have an "uh-oh" or "happy to do so" moment. Consider these:"Friend, can you cover my shift tonight? I'm not going to make it due to an emergency" or"Friend, I have a favor to ask. Is it possible for you to cover my shift tonight? I have an emergency".In the first scenario, the friend is off guard and might feel that he has to do the favor. In the second scenario, setting up the stage to ask the favor gives your friend a second or two to decline or accept the favor.

The Reason

According to Robert Cialdini's book, Influence; giving a reason to your favor increases the chances of a positive response. If you know how to ask for a favor be sure you're providing a reason makes people react positively even if the reason is makes no sense to the request. People like to know that they are being asked something. If you're asking a millennial for a favor, consider reading this article  about 5 things you need to know about Millennials. It'll give some insights on what makes millennials tick.

The Escape Clause

When learning how to ask for a favor, it's good to keep in mind an Escape Clause. People are inherently good especially when they are asked to comply with a request. This is because giving is better than receiving. However, when you ask a favor your goal is two-fold: getting what you want and making the giver feel good about helping. The best way to do this is to provide and escape clause so that your friend can graciously decline in the event that they cannot do you the favor. Remember you are giving them the choice to comply. You are not commanding them.

Good Escape Clauses Include:

  • "I understand if you can't help. But I thought I'd ask".
  • "I understand if you can't come because you're busy".
  • "I would like an introduction to your friend from Apple but I understand if it makes you uncomfortable".
Friends and colleagues cannot always come through when you ask them a favor due to a variety of reasons. However, you can always ask them favors with grace and gratitude so that you maximize your chances of getting what you want. Hopefully you will be able to pay back the favor once they ask something from you.
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